A popular pot plant

I’ve tried to grow Coleus blumei, a popular pot plant which has colourful leaves, several times and this was the first year that I succeeded.

I’ve grown the less common Carefree Mixture which as you see has serrated Oak-like leaves.  I had ten plants, six of which I gave away, and of the ones I’ve kept two have red, green edged leaves and two green and cream ones.  One of each colour has flowered but the spikes are rather insignificant.

Coleus 'Carefree Mixure' green & red, flowering   Coleus 'Carefree Mixture' green & cream

Next year I think that I’ll try again with Fairway, Extra Dwarf Formula Mixed, which has the more familiar leaf shape and a wider range of colours.

Have a good weekend!

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Plotting pleasurably…

is what I enjoyed doing both yesterday morning and this morning. The weather was ideal to collect seed, dead-head, dig, harvest, hoe, prune, tidy and weed.  As I worked I was tentatively thinking about what to grow and where next year, both flowers and vegetables. I want to grow less but better if that makes sense.

I stood and watched a wood pigeon drink from the water tank just across the roadway. It perched on the side, looked round at me before dipping it’s head then repeated the action several times before flying off.

Ready, steady and   Dunk

I always check the level when I arrive, and leave, to make sure it’s full to the brim. I do that so birds can drink from it and anything that falls in can hopefully get out although there is wire mesh that we put across the top. I did rescue a frog that was in it a couple of years ago.

It looks like being drizzly and dull tomorrow then dry, sunny and warmer Tuesday onwards.  Hopefully that will help my sweetcorn and tomatoes to ripen.

I did another guest blog post, Sunflowers, for Living Paintings last week which you might enjoy reading.

Have a good week!

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Red and yellow

Red and yellow tomatoesI did some plotting on Saturday and Sunday mornings but since then it’s been mostly wet so apart from picking some blackberries, runner beans and tomatoes yesterday I’ve been mooching and reading.

I received an advance copy of Of Cabbages and Kings – The History of Allotments by Caroline Foley on Tuesday which I’ve started reading, and will be reviewing here when read.


The nasturtiums are still providing lots of colour with their red and yellow flowers.

Red and yellow nasturtiums

Someone else who likes them is Caro over on The Urban Veg Patch where she’s done two excellent posts,  Edible Gardens: Nasturtiums and Edible Gardens: Nasturtium capers , recently all about them.

From tomorrow onwards the forecast is looking much better, at least through into next week, so I will hopefully be off to the plot most mornings to make the most of it.

Have a good weekend!

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I’m being lazy today…

as this post is about three friends recent posts and a new photographic website.

I’m in no doubt that CJ’s Allotment – Why is probably the best post that I’ve read about the benefits, including the more intangible ones, of plotting. As well as being so well written the photos really are excellent.

Elaine’s lovely post One of life’s gentler pursuits, also from yesterday, is about time. I read this, looked at the pictures and the word mellow sprang to mind.

Jo over on her Through the Keyhole blog did a post, Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival, last Monday followed by More From Kettlewell the next day. Both feature lots of delightful pictures which made me smile.

Lastly Sunny Day’s Photography‘s website went live yesterday and I recommend having a browse at the terrific pictures in the Gallery.

It looks like being a wet and windy day tomorrow, typical August Bank Holiday weather, so I guess that I’ll be spending some of the day sofa flying reading a good book.

Rosy-pink Cosmos

Have a good week!

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It’s been cooler…

and fresher this week so I’ve been plotting every morning. It’s been mostly dry and sunny, but still breezy at times.

Last cucumber and a carrotThere has been plenty to do such as forking over the area where I grew the potatoes where I’ve been finding, and inevitably spearing,  ones I missed.

I picked the last cucumber and found this hidden carrot.

Tomatoes 'Gardener's Delight'I’m picking far more dwarf French and runner beans than I use so I’ve been giving plenty away.

I’ve picked a few yellow tomatoes but most of them, and all the red Gardener’s Delight are still green.

Sweetcorn cob silkThe sweetcorn cobs are developing nicely and have really long silks. I just hope that the squirrels don’t get to them before I do.

Nibbled courgetteThey’ve certainly been nibbling the small courgettes, which they’re welcome to do.

Happy gardening, and have a good week!

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Thanks, and Happy Birthday Carrie!

Last month I asked Carrie if she would make me one of her felt hanging birds that she sells on her Oh Cherry Blossom Etsy shop. I wanted a robin as small as she could make it which I knew would be a bit of a challenge as she suffers from double vision.

I said that there was no hurry but she did it almost straight away. I received the robin the following week, and I was delighted to see that it was the perfect size to hang on the felt tree that Nikki sent me last December.

Kitty, butterfly and cloudA few weeks ago it was Carrie’s 6th blog anniversary so she did a giveaway to celebrate it, which much to my surprise I won.  I received the parcel last Monday which contained a lovely note along with the book How to Grow Food – A Wartime Guide by Doreen Wallace, three of Carrie’s own handmade flowery notecards and a wonderful tiny handmade felt robin all wrapped up in tissue paper secured with little soft plastic sticky backed kitty, butterfly and cloud.  I’ll review the book later on, and as you can see both robins are now happily perched on Nikki’s tree.

Carrie's giveaway presents   Carrie's robins on Nikki's tree

Lovely pot marigold


Thanks, and Happy Birthday Carrie!

Have a good week!

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Still standing

Prior to Tuesday I was last on the plot last Thursday since when there had been some heavy rain and high winds, although it wasn’t as bad here as had been originally forecast.

I was relieved to see that everything was still standing apart from a chicory plant that had toppled, although some others were leaning a bit. Thankfully the runner beans, sweet corn and sunflowers were all okay.

Runner beans    Sweetcorn and sunflowers

Courgette and my size ten wellieFirst tomatoI lifted some maincrop Desiree potatoes,  a few which had been got at by slugs. I picked lots of dwarf French beans, runner beans and blackberries. I left this courgette which is bigger than my size ten wellie but picked the first tomato.

I was pleased to get this photo of a Speckled Wood butterfly resting on a rose petal.

Speckled Wood butterfly

I’m not doing a specific tree following post this month but here’s what the willow looks like from where I sit on the log seat by the shed.

The willow tree viewed from my log seat

I was glad to see that it was okay after the recent bad weather as it often loses a few branches when it’s very windy.  For plenty of other tree followers posts this month have a look at this post of Lucy’s.

Have a good weekend!

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